Z Nation, in Going Nuclear proves that folks who come in contact with Team Murphy, usually become the fatality of the week and this episode managed to have two references, one for Star Trek and the other for The Simpsons which is fairly impressive. Doc gets to do a “Bones” line, “Dammit I’m a doctor not a nuclear physicist” and the inclusion of a nuclear plant supervisor named Homer Stubbins is pretty funny. On par with the, “Don’t hug the zombies, gotcha,” line from Doc.
Watching this episode, the viewer is reminded again of just how frugal Asylum is with their CG budget. There are a number of zombie kills which either do not make sense or have no evidence of “really” happening. Lack of blood on blades, absence of wounds and a bit where Warren dispatches some Z’s by slitting their throat. Destroying the brain kills the walking dead, not cutting their throat, so decapitation works just fine, but apparently making fake heads for the intended victims is too expensive, therefore, cutting the throat is the obvious answer for budgetary reasons. Meanwhile the show’s makers hope the audience will not notice.
This mistake did detract a little from Warren’s impression of fan favorite Michonne from The Walking Dead on AMC. In Z Nation, Warren was “Michonne with a machete,” since she has no samurai sword, but it has to be said, Kellita Smith did look pretty cool whilst taking out radioactive threats in Going Nuclear. The episode, which did have the Star Trek reference as well as an allusion to The Simpsons, was interesting enough. The separate storyline, with Addy and Mack travelling apart from the main Murphy group looks to be ending next week and luckily no one else from the core “save the human race” team died apart from the poor radiation victim and his daughter who were the most recent members to join.
Murphy continues to evolve and after the pilot dies her zombie self starts copying the saviour and following him everywhere. This SyFy version of The Walking Dead still plays mostly for laughs. These comic touches work pretty well, even the more oblique gestures toward humor, but some of the actor’s cast in major guest roles provide a lot of inadvertent comedy with their line delivery. In many cases the dialogue sounds more lifeless than the zombies in the show.
The dual plot line, racing to save the human race and Murphy’s rapid changes as his body adapts to the zombie virus in his body, is entertaining. Despite somewhat wooden acting from some of the guest players, the cheaper FX and CG imagery and the less skilled performers in the main cast, the show is fun. Keith Allan as Murphy gets better with each episode, on top of looking more and more like a dead wrinkly tree-zombie.
In Z Nation: Going Nuclear Simon, the eyes in the sky, has very little to do till the end of the show, although he does sort of open the proceedings. Doc gets to make a Star Trek reference and luckily hearing the name Homer, as in The Simpsons‘ big yellow bald fellow, never really gets old. Murphy gets to survive yet again and he is still amusing. The only danger that the former convict may pose in the show is that when using his blood for a vaccine, the folks injected may all suffer from excessive sarcasm. In next week’s episode fans can get caught up with Addy and Mack.
By Michael Smith